Columbia, SC Continues to Attract New Retailers

Market Overview

The Columbia, SC retail market continued to excel in 2012 ending the year with the lowest vacancy rate in over three years.  Down 26 basis points from mid-year 2012, the vacancy rate at year-end 2012 was 8.14%.  Despite the market’s low vacancy rate, average asking rental rates for anchor, junior anchor and small shop space were lower than those of mid-year 2012.  Pass-through expenses in the market, consisting of CAM, insurance and taxes averaged $3.30 per square foot in the market with the greatest pass-through expenses being in the downtown submarket.

The retail market’s success can be attributed to several factors.  While other markets were adversely affected by the recent recession, Columbia’s retail market stayed afloat due to lack of over development in pre-recession years.  Although closings of national retailers left big-box retail space vacant, they have since been occupied by merchants entering the market or growing as seen with Dick’s Sporting Goods opening in the Target Center on Two Notch Road.  Growing cities and populations are sought after by retailers looking to expand and branch out into new cities making Columbia a target for such retailers. In 2012 Columbia welcomed well known retailers such as Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and HomeGoods.

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